Cotto vs Martinez: Who is the A-Side?

A Side

By Rudy Mondragon
Twitter: @bloodmoneyboxin
Instagram: bloodmoneyboxing

In boxing, there has always been an “A Side” and a “B Side” when it comes to the two fighters stepping into the ring. Simply put, the “A Side” is the fighter who has the most power. I don’t mean punching power, I mean political power and leverage. Boxing is a business and fighters these days play multiple roles beyond their fighter role. They play the promoter role, the matchmaker role, and the negotiator. We see this done very well by Floyd Mayweather Jr. Miguel Cotto has said in an interview that he is the “A Side” and that the champion, Sergio Martinez, is the “B Side.” How is the “A Side” determined? Does it even matter any more if you are the legitimate champion? What are the factors that go into deciding one side of the coin over the other?

Below I will briefly discuss the different angles that can help us see more clearly who is the A and B Side between Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez in their upcoming June 7th, 2014 fight, which will take place at the Garden in New York.

Promotion Company 

Miguel Cotto has been on and off with Top Rank. Top Rank is one of the top boxing promotion companies in the game. Miguel has been able to find a way to fight under the Top Rank banner both as a member of their stable and as an independent partner. The partnership that Miguel has with Top Rank provides him with power in the context of the fight against Martinez. Sergio is promoted by DiBella Entertainment, the smaller of the two boxing promotion companies. Their top fighter is Sergio Martinez, whereas Top Rank has a larger stable with multiple big names (Manny Pacquiao, Mikey Garcia, Nonito Donaire, Juan M Marquez). As far as Promotional Companies, Miguel Cotto has the power and leverage here.

Round 1: Miguel Cotto 

Years Boxing

Next we look at the years both fighters have spent in professional boxing. The amount of years put into the sport are the dues one pays. In simply looking at these numbers, we see that Sergio Martinez has put in 17 professional years whereas Miguel Cotto has invested 13.

Round 2: Sergio Martinez 

Boxing Records 

The boxing records of these two reflect the amount of years they have put into the sport. Sergio Martinez has a record of 51-2-2, with 28 KOs. Miguel Cotto has a record of 38-4, with 31 KOs. The amount of wins is on Sergio’s side whereas the amount of KOs favors Miguel Cotto. Miguel Cotto has fought in his weight class (welterweight) and went up to light middleweight when he outgrew the 147 limit. Sergio on the other hand, had a hard time finding opponents at the 154 lbs limit and moved up to the 160 limit when he fought Kelly Pavlik. He has since stayed at that weight class and in 7 middle weight fights, he has secured 4 stoppages.

Round 3: Sergio Martinez 

Quality of Opponents 

Boxing records tell us a lot. An important thing to look at when analyzing a boxer’s record is the quality of their opponents. Below are the top 5 fighters Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez have faced:

Miguel Cotto:

1. Floyd Mayweather Jr (Loss)
2. Manny Pacquiao (Loss)
3. Antonio Margarito (Loss and Won)
4. Shane Mosely (Won)
5. Zab Judah (Won)

Sergio Martinez

1. Paul Williams (Loss and Won)
2. Antonio Margarito (Loss)
3. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (Won)
4. Kelly Pavlik (Won)
5. Kermit Cintron (Draw)

These opponents inform me that the quality of opponents faced favors Miguel Cotto.

Round 4: Miguel Cotto 

Title Defenses 

Lastly, in analyzing the records of Miguel Cotto and Sergio Martinez, we see that Miguel has been in more title fights. Sergio has been in 19 title fights whereas Cotto has been in 27. The experience of being in title matches favors Miguel Cotto in this round.

Round 5: Miguel Cotto 

Current Champion

The current champion between these two is Sergio Martinez. He holds the WBC middleweight title. This round goes to Sergio Martinez.

Round 6: Sergio Martinez 

Fan Base

Fan base says a lot in boxing. Boxing is a national sport. A sport where fans uphold their nation and select a fighter to represent that land. In the case of Miguel Cotto, his fan base comes from the colonial USA commonwealth territory of Puerto Rico. Fight fans come in the bunches from Puerto Rico, having had the likes of Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Hector Camacho, Wilfred Gomez, and others. Argentina on the other hand, has not had the same kind of following in boxing until recently. Names like Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse, and Sergio Martinez as of the last 5 years have put Argentina on the map of popular boxing. Due to the richness of boxing in the Puerto Rican community, Miguel Cotto earns this round.

Round 7: Miguel Cotto

Pay-Per-View History

Business as usual. Boxing is a business and what drives the “A Side” majority of the time unfortunately is pay-per-view sales. Who can boxing exploit as their cash cow? In this case, it is Miguel Cotto. His top three pay-per-view events as well as Sergio’s are listed below:

Miguel Cotto:

1. vs Floyd Mayweather Jr (1.5 million sales, $94 million)
2. vs Manny Pacquiao (1.25 million sales, $70 million)
3. vs Antonio Margarito II (600k sales)

Sergio Martinez

1. vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. (475k sales, $25 million)

Looking at the numbers alone, it is all Miguel Cotto. An argument can be made that Mayweather and Pacquiao drove those sales. Although the Argentine fan base is growing, there is no evidence that says that this will make a difference in the future ppv sales for this upcoming fight. Miguel Cotto’s track record in ppv sales speaks volumes and therefore earns Cotto another round.

Round 8: Miguel Cotto 


So there you have it, 5 rounds to 3 for the winner, Miguel Cotto. Based on this, Miguel Cotto has the right to claim the “A Side.” It’s a wicked world when the “A Side” can be determined by the amount a fighter sales, promotional partnership, and fan base. More importance and emphasis on the quality of one’s opponents, title fights, and current title holder should hold more weight when making negotiations and writing out contracts. For a fighter who is not the champion, to say he is the “A Side” and validate that signals one of many problems that exists in the boxing world. Miguel Cotto is great, future Hall of Fame figure, but this fight is evenly matched with two “A Side” fighters. As Sergio Mora put it:


Hopkins vs. Shumenov Prediction


By Rudy Mondragon

Tomorrow night we have light heavyweight championship action. In an IBF and WBA unification match, Bernard Hopkins (54-6-2, 32 KOs) will take on Beibut Shumenov (14-1, 9 KOs) at the DC Armory in Washington DC. Beibut is the younger fighter who has scored 3 KO/TKO victories in his last 4 fights. Bernard is the older man who at 49 has won 2 straight fights against much younger fighters.

This fight looks very interesting on paper. Bernard will attempt to break his own record as the oldest fighter to capture and defend a boxing title. Will tomorrow night be the night where he finally shows his age? Beibut has power, 9 KOs in his 14 victory career. Will he be able to knock out the veteran? It is worth noting that Hopkins has never been knocked out in his 25 years of boxing.

Although this fight looks interesting on paper, it really is not. Beibut is the younger man who does not have the experience needed to fight an experienced veteran like Bernard. As Sergio Mora pointed out, the bright lights will either make Beibut tamed or a beast. How will the younger champion respond to this type of stage?

Additionally, Beibut’s timing is off and often times appears to be looking for single power-punches to land at a time. This will not yield him positive results, as Bernard is a master of clinching and disabling his opponents arsenal. As stated by Sergio Mora, Hopkins will have problems early on as a result of Beibut’s strength. Once Hopkins adjusts and gets his rhythm, he will be able to execute his signature collect points game plan.

It is easy to say that Hopkins will get old tomorrow. However, given the history of Bernard Hopkins’ preparation and healthy lifestyle, I do not see Hopkins getting old over night. This happens to fighters who have abused their body with alcohol, lived the party life, disregard what they put in their body when not training for a fight, and have taken beatings in the ring. Hopkins is one of the few out there who has not lived that life. Because of his lifestyle, Hopkins will not age over night but rather has been slowly declining over years. As a result of his slow decline, Bernard is highly selective on picking fighters he knows he can beat at this level. This is why he will collect points tomorrow and come away victorious.

Bernard Hopkins by split decision 

What are your thoughts BMB family? What is your prediction?

The Puerto Rican “Bomba”: Intern perspective of Garcia v Herrera

by Juan Fco. Santillan

Last night, team BMB viewed the “anticipated” match between Danny “Swift” Garcia and Mauricio “El Maestro” Herrera. “Prodigal Son” Garcia, an ethnic Puerto Rican, was facing a little-known ethnic Mexican, Herrera.  In my brief analysis, I’m going to play to my strengths: my sex-appeal and literary devices. I will also display an egregious use of “air quotes”. Speaking of sex-appeal, shout-out to the lovely Rosie Perez, who was attentively watching the match:

Even though this was no Mexico v Puerto Rico (such as Tito Trinidad v. De la Hoya), the very same De la Hoya was trying to cash in on that angle by brining Garcia back “home”, the only difference being that Herrera’s history was completely ignored in the build up to the match.  Clearly, there was no money to be made exploiting Herrera’s background for profit.

As Mateo covered earlier today, Herrera executed his game plan with great efficiency, leading some to believe (Herrera being one of them) that he had won the match.  Garcia was frustrated by Herrera’s strategy during much of the match, and his trainer seemed to vent all his frustrations on him between every round. Still, with Golden Boy’s backing, a home crowd cheering you on, and facing a relatively unknown opponent, Garcia had a clear advantage. Herrera had a very steep mountain to climb in order to become champion, needing a TKO to win the belt.
Based on the above factors, I wonder if Herrera would have only gotten the “Tie” for knocking out Garcia.  Of course, I’m being facetious.  The end result was a “close” match, and so Garcia was able to defend his belt, in spite of the lackluster performance he displayed.  Some believe that making weight was a clear factor in Garcia’s lack of explosive punches and general power throughout the night.  Regardless, Puerto Rico has a reason to smile, as their reigning champ visited his home and “delivered” by defending his title.

Was anyone really shocked by the result?  We reached out to the boxing community, straight to the actual athletes themselves for their perspective on the referees’ decision in awarding Garcia the victory.  “The Latin Snake”, Sergio Mora told BMB:

Many others believed that Herrera was wining the match earlier on, and showed their dismay in the end-result.

What’s next for Danny Garcia?  It seems he’s thinking of moving up in weight, as he’s been fighting at 140 lbs for about 7+ years now.  After Golden Boy’s failure to beat Mayweather through Canelo, it’s no surprise that they are trying to find another fighter to bring in more cash while Canelo rebuilds from that loss.  By having a strong boxing “portfolio”, Golden Boy will be able to thrive and make money, as long as they are able to keep the feds off of their backs, assuming the rumors are true.

Please feel free to post comments below. Excelsior!